Oklahoma ( (listen); Cherokee: ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ, ogalahoma; Choctaw: Oklahumma) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people”. It is also known informally by its nickname, “The Sooner State“, in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, “Okies”), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma’s primary economic anchors, with nearly two thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.
The University of Tulsa is a private, comprehensive university awarding bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is currently ranked 91st among doctoral degree granting universities in the nation by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the “Best 366 Colleges” by the Princeton Review. The university is historically affiliated with the American Presbyterian Church.
The University of Tulsa was founded in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls in 1882 under the leadership of Alice Mary Robertson, but was re-chartered as the Henry Kendall College in 1894 under the auspices of the Presbyterian Women’s Board of Home Missions. In 1907, the college moved to its current site in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A university was formed in 1920 when the college merged with the proposed McFarlin College to become the University of Tulsa. (Read more…)
Ponca City is a city located in north central Oklahoma, 18 miles south of the Kansas border and is the most populous city in Kay County. The population was 25,596 at the 2000 census.
Ponca City was founded in 1893 after the Cherokee Outlet was opened for settlement in the Cherokee Strip land run and is named after the Ponca Tribe, which relocated from Nebraska to northern Oklahoma from 1877 to 1880. The site for Ponca City was selected because of its proximity to the Arkansas River and a fresh water spring near the river. The city was founded by Burton Barnes who drew up the first survey of the city and sold lottery tickets for the lots he had surveyed. After the drawing for lots in the city was completed, Barnes was elected the city’s first mayor.
Ponca City’s history has been shaped for the most part by the ebb and flow of the petroleum industry. The Marland Oil Company, which once controlled approximately 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, was founded by eventual Oklahoma governor and U.S. congressman E. W. Marland, who founded the 101 Ranch Oil Company located on the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch and drilled his first successful oil well on land he leased from the Ponca Tribe of American Indians in 1911. (Read more…)
Credit: Jon Sullivan
Oklahoma’s state insect, the Honeybee.
Did you know…
- …that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
- …that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
- …that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the “Father of Route 66,” proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
- …that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization’s headquarters in Tulsa?
- Nickname:The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Kevin Stitt (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: James M. Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Kendra Horn (D)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
William Bradley “Brad” Pitt, born December 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, is an American actor, film producer, and social activist. He became famous during the mid 1990s after starring in several major Hollywood films. Pitt received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys. Pitt is consistently cited by popular media as one of the most attractive men alive and is regarded as a Hollywood A-lister. His former marriage to actress Jennifer Aniston and current relationship with actress Angelina Jolie have been widely covered in the world media. He is the father of four children with Jolie, one biological, all of whom have also received media coverage. Since his connection with Jolie, he has become increasingly involved in social issues, both domestically and internationally.
In 1988, Pitt had his first starring role, in The Dark Side of the Sun, where he played a young American taken by his family to the Adriatic to find a remedy for a skin condition. The movie was shot in Yugoslavia in the summer of ’88 with Pitt being paid $1,523 per week for seven weeks. However, with editing nearly complete, war broke out and much of the footage was lost; the film was released years later. Pitt won a part in the TV movie Too Young to Die?, about an abused teenager given the death penalty for murder. Pitt played the part of a drug addict, Billy Canton, who took advantage of a runaway played by Juliette Lewis. (Read more…)
- Lawmakers approve a bill that would make performing abortions a felony, and revoke the medical license of most assisting physicians, the first such proposed law in the US 
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